The Vomit Draft
Tips in defeating writer’s block? We’ve heard them all. From upping your cafeine intake, to washing dishes, going for a run, online coaching sessions… and yes, some of these tips might work for a day or two. But these changes only offer a temporary solution (if they even work in the first place). As a young writer, I realised that there was just one simple yet effective tool to beat this monster. This tool is what many like to call: The Vomit Draft.
The Vomit Draft might be an unsettling expression, though it’s seems to only name that sticks. The concept entails that you sit down and figuratively"vomit" the words and thoughts onto the page. And this method can work for anything: novels, blogs, screenplays, emails, speeches... Now, you might be sceptical and think "Just sit down and write? As if no one's thought of that before". And I agree that it might sound simple and pointless, however, there is a very important reason why this method works.
Writing and editing require two very different parts of our brain. If we believe in the so-called left/right brain (which I don't but will use for the sake of explaining this), then the right side of our brain is where all the creative and imaginative things happen, whereas the left side is more practical, critical and analytical. We write using the right side of the brain and we edit everything written thus far with the left side. Easy peasy harmony. Only problem is that when we sit down to write, the left side of the brain wants to interfere. It wants to start editing before anything the right side has come up with even reaches the page. Our critical editing brain enables us from letting the narrative flow and then the writer's block monster appears.
This is where the vomit draft comes in. If you shut down this left side of the brain (for just a moment), your right side will be able to do whatever it wants. You can just allow ideas to flow, words to appear and narratives to unfold. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to write badly. It simply allows you to quieten that critical voice in your head that will stop your train of thought. Then later on, when you have "vomited" your first draft, that's when your left side can come into the picture and start editing everything written thus far.
The reason this method works so well is because most people much prefer having written then actually writing. Once you finish this draft you will most probably feel a sense of accomplishment, whether the draft is good or not. And then you can come back to it and decide whether it's editable or just a complete piece of garbage, in which case you can start the vomit draft all over again. However, you will find that once you're actually writing, the process won't turn out to be as bad as you thought.
So give it a try! Sit down, have a cup of tea or coffee, grab your laptop/notebook/writing tools and just start to write a vomit draft. You might surprise yourself.